Firstly, I feel I must apologise to the lovely folks at Action PR for the tardiness of this post. It’s been a long time coming.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to attend a really interesting event hosted by Action PR. Delivered by the knowledgable and passionate Performance Nutritionist, Tilly Spurr on behalf of Future Fit Training, we were given a fascinating insight into the importance of Childhood Nutrition.
I loved Tilly. I’m not a nutritionist. I love food and I care about what I eat. I have a 3 year old and I care about what she eats. I want her to enjoy her food, but I also want her to have a healthy relationship with food. Since becoming a parent, I have become increasingly frustrated with the terms “guilt free,” “skinny” and “naughty” in association with food. By associating these words with food, I believe that you are sowing a seed that it is wrong and somehow shameful to occasionally enjoy chocolate, cake, etc. It is not wrong. I believe in balance. It was refreshing to hear Tilly’s views on this as she explained that these words, especially around children, can be belittling and even develop into problems later on.
She explained how it is wrong to shame people for being overweight. Once again, I felt happy and relieved to hear these views from a nutritionist. My weight can fluctuate up and down and I have been shouted at when out running before and reduced to tears. It’s hard to cope with as an adult; for a child it must be even worse. Tilly stressed the importance of education. Using positive words. Learning about portion control. The importance of exercise. The importance of eating real food.
Following on from this session, we were all offered the opportunity to study the Childhood Nutrition and Obesity Prevention course with Future Fit Training. At this moment, I have to confess that I haven’t yet done this course, but it is something that I intend to do over the summer and I am looking forward to learning from it. There are no entry requirements for this course and it’s delivered online. All that is needed is an interest in nutrition and a computer with an internet connection. Costing £129, you are assessed via an online exam at the end and gain a certificate worth 16 REPS points. The course is certified by the Association for Nutrition and covers the varying dietary requirements of children, from birth through to adolescence.
I am looking forward to beginning the course. What jumped out to me about Tilly’s session was that as well as talking about foods, portion control, the Eatwell Guide and dietary requirements, she also made it clear that good childhood nutrition (indeed, all nutrition) is also about the mindset and outside influences. As I mentioned above, she talked a lot about how positive language is key in education and mindset, and how negative words can cause their own problems, even triggering disordered eating in some cases. Balance is key. The course content looks to be varied, covering nutrition as well as physical activity and outside influences.
And I think this is really important. Tilly really managed to get across how the importance of nutrition is lifestyle. It’s not calorie counting. It’s not reading packets of food in shelves. It’s not shrieking at your child that some foods are bad and others are good. It’s about making healthy lifestyle choices and how nutrition goes beyond food.
Many thanks to Action PR, Future Fit Training and Tilly for an informative session on childhood nutrition. I will report back once I have completed the course!